16 May 2011

MP defects to Kilman's side ahead of Vanuatu vote

4:14 pm on 16 May 2011

One Vanuatu MP has defected as the two main political parties scramble to get the numbers before a vote this Friday to determine which has the clear majority.

The People's Progressive Party leader Sato Kilman and his ministers returned to their offices last Friday following an Appeal Court decision that determined a motion to topple him as prime minister last month was unconstitutional.

But Mr Kilman's return may be short-lived - a special parliamentary session has been called for this Friday to establish whether he or Serge Vohor, who is the leader of the UMP party, has the absolute majority.

One MP has already swapped sides - the vice treasurer of the UMP party Steven Kalsakau has now become the Minister of Lands in Mr Kilman's governmment.

If Mr Kilman wants to remain in power he has to gain a further two MPs from the opposition before Friday's session.